A holistic and functional approach to the care of people with cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease
“Cognitive impairment” describes a decline in cognitive abilities, including memory, language, thinking, and judgment, but without affecting functions in the activities of daily life. “Dementia” is diagnosed when cognitive impairment has progressed to the extent that it is severe enough to affect functioning in daily activities. Dementia is an overall term, representing a final pathway of many possible causes. Alzheimer’s disease is only one cause of dementia, but it is the most common one.
What is often neglected is the fact that a significant proportion of Alzheimer’s disease cases can be prevented with prudent and mindful lifestyle choices throughout the life course. By the time symptoms of dementia are manifest, the underlying pathology in the brain often had already started two or three decades earlier.
The limited number of currently available pharmacologic therapies for Alzheimer’s disease may or may not slow the course of dementia progression and do not reverse the disease. Current medications for Alzheimer’s disease act on narrow molecular pathways of pathogenesis, while Alzheimer’s disease may result from a complex interplay of causative factors, many of which had already started their pathogenic processes decades earlier.
As a board-certified geriatrician, Dr. Wang treats patients with Alzheimer’s disease through a holistic approach to care. He takes into consideration the biopsychosocial factors that are often crucial in the successful care of the dementia patient and their family members and caregivers. Serving as a consultant to patients' primary care physicians, Dr. Wang uses a functional medicine approach to address the complex interplay of contributing factors in the disease process and develop a personalized care plan. A proper dementia treatment plan regards as the highest priority the quality of life of the patient and their family, and values their dignity and enjoyment of life.
The ReCODE Protocol, developed by Dr. Dale Bredesen, is a functional medicine-based approach to the care of people with cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, as discussed in Dr. Bredesen’s New York Times Bestseller, The End of Alzheimer’s. Dr. Wang is trained in Dr. Bredesen’s protocol.
If desired, and based on the suitability of each particular patient and their family and caregivers’ capability in pursuing treatment plans, Dr. Wang will determine with you whether you or your loved ones are candidates for Dr. Bredesen’s ReCODE Program.
Dr. Wang co-chaired a symposium and spoke about holistic approaches to the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease at the International Congress on Integrative Medicine & Health in Baltimore, MD, May 8 - 11, 2018.